UAE | Education

Purpose of inspection often misunderstood

Inspectors say school managements often misunderstand the purpose of their visit

  • By Rayeesa Absal Staff Reporter
  • Published: 20:41 January 26, 2013
  • Gulf News


Many teachers and school leaders misunderstand the purposes of school inspections, KHDA inspectors said. “We are not looking for an unconvincing, rehearsed performance in their classrooms, science labs or morning assemblies. But we look for learners who are engrossed in their work, who work things out for themselves, who work with each other, who have supportive teachers interested in their learning and not constantly telling students what they need to know.”

Inspectors look for good, sustainable progress by students in the key subjects, learners who know their own capacities and what they need to do next because a teacher has helped them understand this. They look for teaching that stimulates good learning and that helps students become inquisitive, independent, life-long learners.

School leadership is another key factor. School leaders who know the strengths and weaknesses of teachers and who can provide the right professional development to make them better teachers are vital.

“We want to see people who continually and honestly evaluate their own performance, not martyrs who stay up late the night before the inspection to fill out a self-evaluation form. It’s all too easy to see through,” an inspector said.

Monitoring standards of private schools

The Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB) of KHDA was established by the Dubai government in 2007. DSIB’s role is to provide comprehensive information on the standard of private school education, which helps to inform improvement planning at school and policy level. This is achieved through a number of approaches, including annual school inspections, parents meetings and focus groups, teachers, parents and students surveys.

What is inspected?

Inspectors will find answers to a number of key questions such as –

How good are the students’ attainment and progress in key subjects?

How good is the students’ personal and social development?

How good are the teaching, learning and assessment?

How well does the curriculum meet the educational needs of all students?

How well does the school protect and support its students?

How good are the leadership and management of the school?

How well does the school perform overall?


Outstanding: Exceptionally high quality of performance or practice.

Good: The expected level for every school.

Acceptable: The minimum level of quality required for Dubai. All key aspects of performance and practice in every school should meet or exceed this level.

Unsatisfactory: Quality not yet at the level acceptable. Schools will be expected to take urgent measures to improve the quality of any aspect of their performance or practice that is judged at this level.

— R.A.

Gulf News